Marketers are looking to virtual reality as the next big thing in advertising, but Toyota is also using it to help with its safety initiatives, as seen in this project the brand debuted at the Detroit Auto Show. According to the CDC, car accidents are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, so to help combat these preventable deaths, Toyota created a simulator using Oculus Rift that lets teens experience what it's like to drive while distracted. It aims to teach them the importance of staying focused when behind the wheel -- and the dangerous consequences that can arise if you don't.
Users can put on the VR headset and experience a drive down a busy city street, complete with sounds of traffic, friends chatting and changing the radio, and text messages. The simulation is part of the brand's "TeenDrive365" initiative which offers online tools, advice, and events to help parents model safer driving behaviors for their teens. Toyota worked with Brightline Interactive and 360i to develop the simulator.